TOP 50 OF 2015 (#50 – #26): Kevin Rakestraw

2015 saw a multitude of impressive releases, a bevy of which I unfortunately have not seen. A number of those unseen films I would assume would have ended up taking residence on this list, or not (you can never tell). Films like Kurt Walker’s Hit 2 Pass (of which I’ve heard nothing but good things), Oppenheimer’s The Look of Silence, Baumbach’s Mistress America, Dumont’s Li’l Quinquin or Guzmán’s The Pearl Button. Even without seeing any of these aforementioned films, I would venture a guess that all are worthwhile in one way or another.

Of the films from 2015 that I did experience, the below list covers #50 through #26 in my top 50 films of 2015 in a loose, semi-solidified ranking. All picks are locked in, as are any and all regrets. Also, I grew weary of having to construct little blurbs over the past few days, so I decided to forego the blurbs opting instead to merely state reasons in a more matter-of-fact manner.

#50: A PIGEON SAT ON A BRANCH REFLECTING ON EXISTENCE directed by Roy Andersson

István Borbás & Gergely Pálos’ cinematography // Staging & Framing // Deadpan humor

#49: BLIND directed by Eskil Vogt

Ellen Dorrit Petersen // Unpredictable Locale Shifts // Execution

#48: THE DUKE OF BURGUNDY directed by Peter Strickland

Sidse Babett Knudsen // Chiara D’Anna // Cat’s Eyes Score

#47: FAULTS directed by Riley Stearns

Leland Orser // Mary Elizabeth Winstead // Execution

#46: UNCERTAIN TERMS directed by Nathan Silver

David Dahlbom // India Menuez // Tallie Medel // Unassuming Drama Narrative

#45: NASTY BABY directed by Sebastián Silva

Tunde Adebimpe // Kristen Wiig // Sebastián Silva // Mark Margolis // Jabs at Performance Art

#44: CHRISTMAS, AGAIN directed by Charles Poekel

Kentucker Audley // Hannah Gross // Sean Price Williams cinematography // Narrative

#43: APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR directed by Desiree Akhavan

Desiree Akhavan (in all aspects) // Comedy // At Land by little kids

#42: APPLESAUCE directed by Onur Tukel

Ensemble // Tukel’s brand of humor // Classic Prediger/Tukel banter action

#41: BLACKHAT directed by Michael Mann

Action sequences // Digital Aesthetic // Viola Davis

#40: MUSTANG directed by Deniz Gamze Ergüven

Günes Sensoy // Ensemble // Non-heavy-handed narrative

#39: TU DORS NICOLE directed by Stéphane LaFleur

Julianne Côté // Sara Mishara’s black and white cinematography // Framing // Deadpan Humor

#38: ENTERTAINMENT directed by Rick Alverson

Gregg Turkington // Tye Sheridan’s clown routine // Seimetz confrontation // Visuals // Atmosphere

#37: BONE TOMAHAWK directed by S. Craig Zahler

Richard Jenkins // Everytime Jenkins opens his mouth // The Writing // Ensemble // The Buildup

#36: HELLIONS directed by Bruce McDonald

Visuals // Visuals // Visuals // Visuals // Norayr Kasper’s cinematography // Visuals

#35: MUDJACKIN’ directed by Christopher Good

Jimmy Darrah & Wilson Vance // Good’s editing // Idea Overload // Exploding Head // The Comedy

#34: HOW THE SKY WILL MELT directed by Matthew Wade

Wade’s score // Visuals // Super 8mm // Nonchalant mindfuckery // Feed Me Your Colors

#33: TOM AT THE FARM directed by Xavier Dolan

Sexual Psychodrama // Performances // Tension

#32: EX MACHINA directed by Alex Garland

Locations and Visuals // Oscar Isaac // Alicia Vikander // Oscar Isaac disco dance

#31: STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS directed by J.J. Abrams

Daisy Ridley // Locations/Setting // Adventure // Effects

#30: BACKCOUNTRY directed by Adam MacDonald

Tension // Bear // Bear-tension

#29: L FOR LEISURE directed by Whitney Horn & Lev Kalman

Mellow // John Atkinson score // 16mm // Bene Coopersmith (b-balling & laser-tagging) // Fuckin’ around with Jeans // Mati Diop reverse-Brady-Corbeting

#28: SICARIO directed by Denis Villeneuve

Emily Blunt // Benicio Del Toro // Tension

#27: THE FORBIDDEN ROOM directed by Guy Maddin & Evan Johnson

Creativity galore // Visuals // Meandering, matryoshka narratives // Visuals

#26: RESPIRE directed by Mélanie Laurent

Joséphine Japy // Lou de Laäge // Seamless mood shifts // That long take